Transcript

Plug-Ins

Introduction to APEX 5 New Features

 

Lesson 8 – Plugins

 

>> Tyson:  Now, very quickly, we’re going to navigate to plugins.

 

[pause]

 

Here is a plugin that you can find. It’s called the slide tooltip plugin. It’s in the sample application. I’m just going to touch on a few things for those of you who may be are developing plugins or want to get into building plugins, or if you’re using plugins, how your experience is going to get better as new plugins are created.

 

One thing that is really, really awesome to me is that here we have something, a plugin, that looks like a report. It has tabular data in addition to a tooltip which is the extra data.

 

[pause]

 

But you would likely get all this information from a query. Previously, if you had tabular data in a plugin, there was no way of looking at or modifying columns individually unless the developer of that plugin did a whole lot of work to allow you to do that. And the experience wasn’t the same as what you come to know with default APEX reports.

 

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Let me show you what I’m talking about. This plugin, you can now see, exposes all the columns that it has access to. I can go in and I can sequence how these columns are going to show up. I can change the heading of these columns. I can say whether or not I want this to show so I can say, “STREET ADDRESS 2, no. I don’t want you to show up.”

 

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Let me go back to grid layout so I can see what my page looks like.

 

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Run my page. It’s going to apply these changes.

 

You may get this error every now and then. It’s not really an error, just more of an alert. It says, “The changes have been saved but it failed to refocus on the new tab.” So I’m going to click on “Try Again” and it’s going to let me refocus on the new tab.

 

It’s hard to tell but the fourth line in the tooltip is no longer CUST_STREET ADDRESS 2. It is no longer showing up. So you modified how this plugin is behaving and how a column of this plugin is behaving in a more APEX declarative fashion.

 

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I just want to show you as an already plugin developers out there, I’m going to navigate to shared components. I’m going to go to plugins. I’m going to find the slide tooltip plugin.

 

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Don’t worry about the code so much here. But do you notice that it is highlighted? We can see that there is some styling here. Remember this is an early adopter, so the spacing here is a little goofy but that’s okay. It’s early adopter, we know that things aren’t always going to be perfect. But do know that there is syntax highlighting. And you’ll see more syntax highlighting in all of the source of the different APEX items.

 

But one thing that I want to show you is here. This is the option that allowed this really cool stuff to happen. It says, “Has region columns” and “Has heading column attribute.” By checking this on your plugin, basically what this does is APEX will go ahead and query the data for you and give you all the data and headings attached to the payload that it delivers to you to leverage all the built-in APEX attributes.

 

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One last thing I want to touch on here in plugins – this isn’t plugin specific but it’s something that I think is really cool. I’m going to refresh this and see if it will fix the formatting here. It did. Very cool.

 

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One thing that we now have access to is there’s a package – this is kind of small, let me see if I zoom in. There’s a package called APEX JSON. APEX team has given us the package to use if we need to generate JSON output.

 

Notice here, you can see that it’s coined the apex_json.open object. It’s writing some values. Here it’s saying open_array. Now it’s writing an array of values.

 

That’s pretty cool in that we now have a package to help generate JSON. There are some other utility in that package that we’re not going to talk about but it’s really cool.

 

Some of you might be asking, “What is JSON? What does it look like? Why is it important? Why would I use it?” If you look at this plugin – let me restore. I’m going to open up my network tab and I’m going to refresh my page. Here you can see this is the JSON structure that was generated.

 

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This is the structure for Bradley Eugene. Here’s all the other information related to him. Pretty cool. APEX helped us generate that.

 

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User experience with plugins, as well as developer options are becoming way better with plugins.

 

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